I remember the time our pastor asked us what are we thanking God for ? We started to enumerate things and blessings that we received from God.Then after all of us have finished giving the reasons for thanking God, our pastor then asked us " are we going to thank God for who He is ? We were pleasantly surprised. But our pastor was right, can we thank God for who He is ?
This Thanksgiving Day, could we contemplate on who God is, and could we honestly say in our hearts that we really love Him above all ?
It seems I am contradicting myself today but I am not. Here is the background of this blog. I was figuring out or thinking about how the Philippines will rebuild after typhoon Haiyan. I looked at the internet for things already in place and I saw that the vice president of the Phil. recommends not rebuilding Tacloban for various reasons, perhaps I should share that article.Others who are interested may google it.
I myself do not know what to do, so what is next ? Simply pray or pray.If we do not know what to pray for, then kneel and wait. Just like today I knelt and it came to mind to write this blog.
So what is the lesson ? Keep praying, keep seeking.What is the value of praying ? It is very valuable . Why ? Because we are asking the One knows the answer. The God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wrote this blog not to scare but to share. Typhoon Haiyan is one of the strongest that hit earth, estimated casualty was about 4,000 people out 7 billion on planet earth. As my friend reminded me there are earlier typhoons equal or greater than Haiyan even though Haiyan is stronger than Camille, Katrina etc.
Back to the mother of all typhoons, what I had in mind is the flood during the time of Noah. Water came from above and below. It flooded the whole earth and only eight people survived. How did I know this ? The Bible tells me so. The eight people survived led by Noah, by building the ark that God told Noah to build. Out of these eight people God repopulated the earth. We are almost 8 billion, so out of the eight, people are multiplied a billion times.
Will this flood of this magnitude happen again ? No, God promised that He will not send water anymore to destroy the earth.
Here on earth we experience war, famine, sickness, earthquake , typhoon, accidents , deaths ,etc., so what should we do? My suggestion or recomendation, come to Jesus.
Make sure our faith in God and in Jesus is real. Believe it or not, Jesus is God's present version of Noah's ark. And in Jesus we can survive any storm here and in the days to come. We will be safe for eternity, as long as we stay in the ark. Jesus is the ark of the covenant.
Yesterday one of our pastors, encouraged us by saying "overcome evil with good". The backdraft of that is behind the outpouring of help from loving countries and groups and individuals , local governments and national goverments going to the victims of typhoon Haiyan there is ugly side of man showing up like looting, apparent denial of some local officials and national officials,etc.
Even in calamities , good and evil appear to come together.In my own life,part of my heart wants to help and part of it wants to withhold. But is 'nt life is like that we journey to perfection to be perfect like our Father in heaven is perfect.That journey may not be smooth.
Some might think where is God when calamity strikes ? I believe He is there crying. Crying ? you may ask, why did He not stop the thyphoon? It could be man needs some discipline. Discipline ? Perhaps we are forgetting God, perhaps we are only thinking about ourselves, what we can get from Him ?
Overcome evil with good, that is what Jesus Christ did.He endured the cross , the evil and sin of man , and paid for it by His body, and blood.Willingly He laid down His life so that you and I may have life and have it more abundantly.
Yes Jesus overcame evil, and through Him we too will and have the victory. Let us follow Jesus now and forever more.
Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda still on my mind but it was about bedtime, so I knelt to pray and asked God for guidance. I laid on my bed and idea of breakwater came to mind. In layman's term it is some sort of structure for slowing down sea or ocean waves. I got up. turned on my laptop and looked up breakwater. I found out Japan made a lot of research and application with them. Things are going well I thought till I ran into an article about the limitation or even failure of breakwater.
Then remembering what I read in the Bible where it says " Except God or the Lord watched the city they labor in vain those who watch it".What is the message here ? Man has a tendency to rely on his capacity or ability rather than calling on God first who is our first line of defense.
We have seen the devastation of typhoon Haiyan and massive worldwide efforts to deal with it, but have anyone considered calling on God first ?
Since the typhoon was not stopped and when people saw the damage , one commented " God must be somewhere else ." When I first read about this I said to myself , of course God is there. But where was God you may ask ? Perhaps or most likely or of course God is there, but perhaps nobody called and believe that God can stop the typhoon.
Here I am retired and trying to occupy my time.I decided to buy used books on construction, eventually hoping to build a vacation house in the Philippines.
Then Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda struck and we saw the devastation.But then I thought maybe the construction books will help in design of rebuilding houses. Then in Luzon ( the major island of the Philippines) our family have a small parcel of land, where I thought I can build a small house. Then I learned that that land will be in the area of expansion of road or the road will pass over that land. Then I realized the population of the world has been growing, farm land area diminishing etc, etc. and then it further dawn on me, we are exhausting the earth.
At this moment I realize this is a grim picture of things to come. But before you and i will get depressed, I saw hope . What hope you may ask ? Maybe Jesus' coming is soon. The Bible promised there will be new heaven and new earth. Jesus might come in an event called the rapture , where Christians are changed from mortality to immortality. That while Christians are taken to heaven, earth will be rebuilt or renewed.
Fantasy or reality ? Reality I believe, soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
We saw the devastation from typhoon Haiyan and saw the outpouring of help from almost everyone. One person commentedthat God must be somewhere else.
When we study the Bible, when we read the stories of kings of Israel and Judah, when the kings and the people worship other gods then the God forsakes them and when the kings and the people repents and turn to God then God gives them mercy.
Nations like America, Japan , Korea, United Kingdom, Belgium, Russia and others helped or are helping the nation and people of the Philippines.But the situation seems overwhelming.
These are times we need to revive our faith in God, personally and corporately. Believers in God need to pray more and act more.
II Chronicles 7:14, God says to Solomon in a dream "If My people who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God is more powerful than all typhoons but you may ask why did this typhoon Haiyan happened ? Perhaps we failed to call on Him earnestly, perhaps we did not believe that God could stop this typhoon from happening, perhaps we failed to call upon the LORD in faith. Perhaps we under estimated this typhoon and relied on our own strength.
Let's keep praying , let's keep seeking the Lord.Let us pray for recovery and keep looking at Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
In today's world where would you rather be ? In China ? In United states ?in Russia ? In London ? In Rome ? In Mexico ? In Paris ? In Japan ? In the Philippines ? In the Middle East ? In Africa ? In New Zealand ? In Australia ? In Canada ? In the Carribeans ?In Thailand ? In Indonesia ? In Israel ? In Siberia ? anywhere ?
You will probably be surprised by my suggested answer. Anywhere is safe as long as you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is my answer.
And by safe or safety I mean the safety of our soul.
In this world we experience natural disasters or what others call an act of God. Earthquakes have been occuring and the Bible prophesied about them.
The Philippines experienced two disasters in less than a month, first a 7.2 earthquake then a category 5 hurricane or typhoon. The earthquake claimed 144 lives and the typhoon is estimated to claim more than 10,000 lives.
Did God caused these ? or man has something to do with these ? Rather than look at whose to blame let us look at positive things we can do. As a believer in God, it is probably be best to be in constant prayer before disaster strike, during and after any disaster. The Bible recommends to pray continually or unceasingly.
In man's part, we should review what we could we be doing to the environment. Man could also use his knowledge of engineering and technology in building sturdier structuresand learning from history or applying building codes or awareness of dangerous locations on where to build or not to build.
Perhaps formation of voluntary groups in the community to respond to calamities before authorities arrive. There is a story in the Bible where the pharaoh of Egypt dreamed and was interpreted to be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Joseph an Israelite who was sold as slave by his brothers and ended up in Egypt, recommended to save up on those years of plenty and to use them in the years of famine.
Over thirty years ago when I was working in the Philippines, a government agency called National Grains Authority was building warehouses to store rice. Those are huge warehouses and i have seen some filled with sacks of rice.
Man can build long bridges, tall skyscrapers, build and send sattelites and build heavy equipments but man still needs God. Man needs to help and love his fellow men more than ever.